Julia Byeon


Julia Byeon is a PhD candidate in Sociology with interests in financial and economic history. Julia's dissertation investigates the history of financial commodity markets, or markets for derivative instruments referring to primary products such as oil, gas, metals, and agricultural products.

Beginning in the 2000s, funds flowed into commodity-related financial instruments in what has been termed the "financialization of commodities." Julia's thesis assesses the regulatory and political challenges that have accompanied this market growth through two historical case studies that span the past half century: 1) The rise and fall of large banks as physical commodity traders, and 2) the growth of retail and institutional investor interest in commodities as an asset class.

Prior to joining Princeton Sociology, Julia completed a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where she investigated social and ethical issues related to genetic technologies. Here, she studied the use of racial and ethnic categories in genetics research and the potential for emerging genetic therapies to exacerbate health inequities.